[ Skip to content]

  UK Carbon Capture & Storage Research Centre

You are here: UK Carbon Capture & Storage Research Centre >> What is CCS?

Section Contents

Supported by

Supported by the RCUK Energy Programme and the EPSRC.

Demonstrating and Deploying CCS

Only a handful (4 projects in 2012) of commercial scale (capturing and storing a minimum of 0.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year) CCS projects are in operation, none of which are on fossil fuel burning power plant. CCS has the potential to deliver significant and rapid CO2 emissions reductions as part of measures to mitigate climate change but very rapid deployment of the technology is needed. To help accelerate the development and adoption of CCS technology on commercial-scale facilities, publicly co-financed CCS demonstration programmes have been created by governments around the world.

Demonstration programmes offer government money to project developers to help towards the additional cost of installing CCS on their power or industrial plant. Governments have announced ambitions for the numbers and types of projects that they wish to support: European Union - “up to twelve”, UK - “four projects”, USA - “five to ten”, Canada - “up to six”, Australia - “three to five” and Norway - “one to two”. A global total of $US 14 - 20 billion (2011) has been made available by these governments for CCS demonstration, of which around half has been provisionally allocated to projects. These funds come from a variety of sources including economic recovery stimulus packages, and in the EU the Emissions Trading Scheme. These projects include different plant types, capture methods and storage options with the intention to enable exploration and assessment of the technological, economic and political feasibility of commercial CCS deployment in the 2020s. A map which details active and proposed large scale CCS demonstration projects around the world can be found on the SCCS site.

As well as help with initial capital funding, CCS adds cost to the product (e.g. electricity), which needs to be recovered to make the business commercially viable. This can be achieved through subsidy – e.g. a preferential price for low carbon electricity as given to renewable generation or a carbon market with a sufficiently high carbon price, and through legislation requiring the adoption of CCS – e.g. an Emissions Performance Standard which specifies the amount of CO2 that can be released per unit electricity. The UK Government is currently (2012) undertaking a reform of the electricity market which includes proposals for CCS support and requirement.

While CCS demonstration programmes are concentrated in the developed world, responsible for the majority of historical emission, the greatest current and expected emissions growth is from the developing world. Following the Durban UNFCCC conference, CCS projects in the developing world are able to be eligible for the UN Clean Development Mechanism, opening a funding opportunity.

DVPP 2COenergy
Isometric image of the Don Valley Power Project IGCC power plant courtecy of 2Co Energy
  Contact: Elizabeth Vander Meer | This page was Last modified: 08 Feb, 2012 | Hosted on servers at UoE School of GeoSciences